Nu debout sur fond vert et rose is an ode to the frivolous and hedonistic Parisian lifestyle of this time. The model is an incarnation of the artist's feminine ideal, which he would take up again in the painting, Venus (1935-36), which has a very similar composition. In this painting, the artist’s fascination with the beauty of the female form is revealed, to the extent that critics gave him the nickname, “body psychologist”.
This painting demonstrates Van Dongen's remarkable mastery of colour and light. While the fauvist colours of his early work have made way for a more measured palette, the powerful impastos and spontaneous strokes, as well as the originality of the framing and the candour of the green complexion contrasting with the well-defined pinks, express a radical modernity that is testament to the artist's continuous innovation.
As with his most famous works, here the painter skilfully uses electric lighting to sculpt the body and the face of the female model, in the manner of theatrical lighting. In doing so he highlights the eroticism emanating from his model, while also maintaining her sense of captivating mystery. For Louis Chaumeil, author of Van Dongen L’homme et l’artiste - La vie et l'œuvre (1967), Van Dongen's personality was “dominated by a zest for life and a passion for painting from his sensual impulses”. Here, we are very much at the heart of his approach; an artist who aspired to lead a “passionate life with women as his divine inspiration”.
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